GSBF Convention, 2007

Graydon

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That's Jim's shimpaku I coveted but could not afford, the awesome House of Bonsai maple and some foreign dude?
 

Smoke

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...[grin]....I think we spent way too many hours in the vendor room.....

ak
 

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I hadn't planned on going to the convention on Wednesday. Since someone had told me that Kim's bonsai was in distress I decided to go early and make the trip to the desert to see for myself. Graydon had been there the day before and had said he didn't feel it was worth the trip to see Wednesday again. I was there by myself.

It wasn't bad.. the deciduous was gone and there were dead carcasses all over showing fine examples of bonsai lay wasted all over. The juniper selection was good, tough all the cans had been recently written over changing all the prices. A lot of very good juniper stock had doubled and even tripled in price since my last visit two years ago. Many things that had been 50.00 were now 160.00 or higher. It seems that when not many people go to your nursery, you somehow feel that the next person that walks through the door is going to pay through the nose and make up for the last week of no sales. Not a very good way to run a nursery. His help is gone and he runs the nursery single handed. With about 5 acres of trees, thats a lot to manage by anyones standards. I did manage to find a very good juniper there and did take it home. Five gallon procumbens, about 2.5 inch trunk, and lots of deadwood. Should be a good project.
 

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Smoke

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After leaving Kim's, I cruised back to HWY 15 and went on in to House of Bonsai. Vicky Lee and I are very good friends and she always finds time to shoot the breeze for an hour or so. She went into a lot of detail about the problems with importing material and also importing the talent to keep trees like this in good condition in the nursery. The people are there in China and Korea just begging to come hear and work on trees, but the red tape in sponsoring these people is just more work than she is willing to deal with. She told me that the bonsai nursery business has changed so much in the last five years that making a buck in the nursery business without color is getting next to impossible.

Most of the stuff around the nursery that was earmarked for the convention was marked with a red ribbon. It was mostly not for sale. A person could tag it, come to the convention and buy it there. She tries to make it fair for all. I like that. I bought assorted pots and some akadama and a some real small lava for topping. No trees I wanted here, but the pots I procured more than made up for it. Graydon had looked at the pots the day before and snoozed on two of them. I scarfed them and when I showed them to him later at the convention, we agreed that the one pot was perfect for the plant I intended it for. ( BTW,Thanks Graydon for not buying those!)
 

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Smoke

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In Graydon's post he mentioned finding the "good stuff" he was not wrong. Vicky had just recieved a small shipment from quarentine in time for the convention. In the shipment was speciman maples, juniper and pines. All this material was to go to the convention for sale. Most of it turned out being very resonably priced, and if I would have had the cash I would have scarfed one of those maples in a New York second.
 

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Smoke

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Graydon spent most of Wednesday helping vendors carry their wares from their trucks to the vendor room. He made friends with all of them and during the entire convention I would see all these new friends waving to Graydon everytime he passed. He passed alot!

Thursday would be the first official day of the convention with the vendor room open, the exhibit room open and workshops going on. I managed to get a few pics of the vendors, and they spilled over into the foyer of the hotel. They had vendors from the right coast also and I even managed to meet Jim Smith vending a long way from home.
 

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Smoke

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The wokshops were conducted in a grand salon ball room, with all the different workshops going on together in one room. I like this idea rather than seperate rooms for each workshop as has been done in the past. there wqas much more room between tables and the silent observers could move freely between the tables for pictures and could actually hear what the instructors were saying for a change. a very good feeling in the workshops. The material was above average and everyone seemed pleased with their material.

Harry Hirao's workshop with California junipers.

The last two photo's are of Greg Peterson ( Big Kahoona here) and his tree. The guy in yellow is my good friend Peter Macasieb (maria kapra at BT) helping Greg out with some wireing.
 

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bonsai barry

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Thanks for your perspective on the convention. I really need to cough up the bucks and go next year. But on a teacher's salary and two kids in college, it may still be a few years away. In the meantime, I'll enjoy it vicariously through your posts. Thanks.
 

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Kathy Shaner did a workshop with Chinese quince.

Timeout for a juniper digging crew. Me, Harry Hirao and Peter Macasieb.
 

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Smoke

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Thursday also included a first time challange for the five districts of GSBF.

The challange: The trustees from the districts were to put together a three man team representing your district to style like black pines. The finished trees would be judged by Kobayashi and results given at the dinner Friday night. The black pines were singed during the terrible fires in San diego and five large Foemina Junipers were substituted. Due to the simalrities with Foemina and their inherent upright nature, there were not many suitable ideas available for styles.

More on these later.

Thursday also hosted the Pirate bash, and this was a very nice dinner along with a show with authentic pirates. I did not take my camera, I have no idea why, but we will have to wait for Graydons video on this one.
 

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Friday featured the second day for the five district styling contest and also another day full of workshops. I did not shoot any pics of the days workshops but did manage to take some nice pictures of the exhibit and find time for buying all my booty. Early bird gets the good stuff!
 

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Martin Sweeney

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Smoke,

Thank you for the report you are sharing with us. I was wondering if you could talk a little more about what you mean when you say "She told me that the bonsai nursery business has changed so much in the last five years that making a buck in the nursery business without color is getting next to impossible." I don't understand what you mean.

Also, what species is that beautiful formal upright in the first picture from the exhibit?

Regards,
Martin
 

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Thats a redwood...

In the nursery business "color" is pony paks of petunias.

Cheers, Al
 

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Friday also saw the first work of the headliner Kobayashi. He had a bring your own tree workshop. Three people participated in this workshop.

Some assorted pictures of the three trees worked on by Kobayashi and his assistant Peter Warren.
 

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Smoke

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Friday also saw the other headliners and their demo trees.

Kathy Shaner worked on a large Liquid Amber Orientalis.

Warren Hill did a forest with Foemina juniper.

Pedro Morales and a Ficus nerifolia

Trees are in order. Pedro's assistant Roberto, is pretty handy with a sketch pad.
 

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Smoke

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I spent all day Saturday sitting next to my good friend Harry Hirao while we watched Master Kunio Kobayashi transform one of Harry's three year old California Junipers into something magnificent. I can tell you sitting next to Harry wile Kunio cut and carved this juniper was very entertaining.

Some views of the material before work. In the shot with the Japanese fellow in the background is Bill Hashimoto, my shohin partner. Bill was the host of Kunio Kobayashi. Bill will be bringing me back a Gafu-tan book this year if he can manage to snag one.

Melissa and Joe Koi from bonsaiTALK were the host for Peter Warren.

Kobayashi checks out the stock and makes his decision for a cascade style juniper of mammoth proportions. Peter Warren holds the tree while Bill looks on.
 

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Smoke

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I can tell you this...anyone that thinks this is a Kobayashi tree would be mistaken. Peter did almost all the real work on this tree. He is fast and thorough and has learned very well from his teacher. He will be a welcome addition to the UK when he is through with his bonsai education.

My Kobayashi asked Pedro if he could enlist the talents of Roberto to draw an image of the tree to go along with the auctioned piece later that night.
 

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